Fans of Olympic gold medalist, Simone Biles, have reacted to badly-lit images of the 23-year-old on the cover of Vogue Magazine’s August issue. New York Times national picture editor, Morrigan McCarthy, believes the pictures did a disservice to the gymnast due to the dull background.
In a tweet, McCarthy said: “I adore Simone Biles and am thrilled she’s on this cover…but I hate these photos.”
Simone Biles deserved better than Annie Leibovitz bad lighting. pic.twitter.com/I7SvmCmKJP
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— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) July 10, 2020
I adore Simone Biles and am thrilled she’s on this cover… but I hate these photos. I hate the toning, I hate how predictable they are, I hate the social crop here (wtf?) and I super hate that Vogue couldn’t be bothered to hire a Black photographer. https://t.co/az0gLugdzS
— Morrigan McCarthy (@MorriganMcC) July 9, 2020
“I hate the toning, I hate how predictable they are, I hate the social crop here and I super hate that Vogue couldn’t be bothered to hire a black photographer.”
This photographer was not the best person for the job. They have no idea about choosing the right lighting for darker skin tone. That’s what the uproar is about. Nothing else.
— Nneka (@NnekaOpene1) July 13, 2020
While the criticism heightened, many also defended the photographer, Annie Leibovitz.
The photos matched the darkness, toughness and grittiness of the story.
This was not a fashion show or glamour shots .
— Bill Gilman (@bgilman66) July 12, 2020
The no-holds-barred interview covered the postponed Olympics, her training during the Covid-19 pandemic, and overcoming abuse at a young age.
Biles told Vogue she was inspired by Gabby Douglas during the 2012 Olympics.
“Growing up, I didn’t see very many Black gymnasts.”
from eyes of a photographer, these photos are amazing. Annie is an absolute legend as a photographer
— Josiah Barnes (@josiahethnan) July 11, 2020
“So whenever I did, I felt really inspired to go out there and want to be as good as them. I remember watching Gabby Douglas win the 2012 Olympics, and I was like, ‘If she can do it, I can do it.'”
Biles who plans to retire after the 2021 Olympics has a combine total of 30 Olympic and World Championship medals.
She is the most decorated American gymnast and the world’s third most decorated gymnast, behind Belarus’ Vitaly Scherbo with 33 medals and Russia’s Larisa Latynina with 32 medals.
See more reactions:
Why the fuck didn’t a Black photographer photograph Simone? W all due respect, Im soooo tired of the predictable snooze fest Annie Leibovitz delivers. Talented Black photographers, designers, & stylists could do wonders for y’all. It’s not enough just to give Simone the cover.
— Morgan L. Sykes (@morganlsykes) July 9, 2020
simone biles shot by annie leibovitz, a professional photographer— allison | abolish the police (@allisonhopstad) July 10, 2020
gabrielle union shot by zaya wade, a child pic.twitter.com/qHOKWla4JJ
#AnnieLeibovitz is not a glamour photographer. Her photographs have more painting like qualities, including the textures of the skin. To me the photos of @Simone_Biles seem to make references to these (types of) paintings: pic.twitter.com/9EyN3GJ9AL
— Sander Aarts (@jLix) July 11, 2020
She knows her craft, this shabbiness was intentional.— Madeline McCray (@McCrayMadeline) July 10, 2020
— The Bald Bambaataa (@baldandbomb) July 11, 2020
Liebovitz has taken the most iconic shots of Serena Williams. What the heck happened here??? My father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all photographers. Simone deserved so much better.— Victoria Brownworth #MasksSaveLives (@VABVOX) July 11, 2020
The lighting mattes her skin down and washes her out. Here is a photo by James Macari that uses natural lighting to let Simone’s skin glow and have life to it. pic.twitter.com/0JwSbAvYgH
— Lissa/Elisabeth Reed 🏳️🌈 (@lissareedbooks) July 11, 2020